Informing or promoting under the Italian gambling advertising ban?

Operators need to walk on the thin line between advertising and promoting

What is the difference between merely informing players about your gambling offering and promoting your games under the rules provided by the Italian gambling advertising ban?

I discussed in several instances about the rules on the Italian gambling advertising ban and the clarifications now provided by the AgCom guidelines on the topic.

The central dilemma for our clients during these days when they are trying to interpret the AgCom guidelines pertains to the difference between promoting their games and just informing players about them to comply with the limits to gambling advertising. The frequent questions are:

  • If I have a bonus offer, can I inform players about it?
  • If I launch a new slot, can I inform players about it?
  • If I have a sports betting offer, can I have a banner displaying my odds?
  • If I want to engage an influencer or a journalist, can he talk about my odds and the features of my games?

The answer to these questions cannot be straight forward. The AgCom guidelines on Italian gambling advertising are not straight forward and are open to different interpretations.

My view is that operators need to be able to refer to their offers, to the features of their games and their odds, and can have journalists and influencers discussing it. This conclusion is because otherwise, operators cannot operate, which would make the ban unconstitutional. But the “thin” distinction between informing and promoting is on how to convey the message and how recipients can perceive it.

The gambling industry has been working for years to identify ways to make their advertising message more attractive. And unfortunately, it seems that such strategies will have to become even more structured.

The prohibition to adopt advertising messages that encourage gambling addiction has been in place for a long time, and it is not a change introduced by the new Italian rules on gambling advertising. Such rules require a step forward with a limit continuously tested by regulators and potentially courts.

You can read on the topic above the articles “Italian gambling advertising guidelines adopted, and now what?” and “How affiliates are impacted by the Italian gambling advertising ban.”

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Giulio Coraggio

I am the head of the Italian Technology sector and the global head of the IoT and Gaming and Gambling groups at the world-leading law firm DLA Piper. IoT and artificial intelligence influencer and FinTech and blockchain expert, finding solutions to what's next for our clients' success.

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